Marriage in Ancient Egypt
Although some aspects of marriage in ancient Egypt were similar to those of today, others were radically different, and other aspects remain hazy. As in today's society, Egyptians considered marriage to be for a lifetime but divorces were fairly common. Incest was frowned upon except for royalty, who could marry their siblings, and marriages were expected to be monogamous, except for royalty.
Boys were usually married by the age of 15 to 20 while girls married at a younger age, sometimes as early as 12 years old. Since the average lifespan was about 30 years, these ages probably did not seem as young to the Egyptians as they do today.
Famous Historical Couples
George Putnam was Amelia Earhart's publisher and publicist before he became her husband. The two fell in love while Putnam was still married to his first wife. Earhart approached marriage with as bold an attitude as she did her aviation career. The New York Times remarked on her wedding vows in 1931 that "Miss Earhart did not promise to 'obey' her husband, as the word is not included in the civil ceremony."
When Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe were married in 1954, they were an A-list celebrity couple. But the retired baseball player didn't like the publicity his wife garnered for the suggestive pose she struck while filming "The Seven Year Itch." According to reports, DiMaggio abused Monroe physically and emotionally, and when she filed for divorce nine months after the wedding, DiMaggio didn't show up in court.
Gertrude Stein (left) and Alice B. Toklas were two American expatriates who met in Paris. They lived together in 27 Rue de Fleurus as a married couple for 39 years. Stein, a poet, memoirist and contributor to the modern and post-modern movements, spent her days writing while Toklas typed her manuscripts and kept the house in order.
Microsoft business brought Bill and Melinda Gates together. They have three children and run the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a charitable organization that, according to the Gateses, seeks to help people live "a healthy, productive life."
This late 19th-century lithograph depicts the garden of Eden, inhabited by the biblical couple Adam and Eve, who members of certain faiths believe were the first man and woman.
Mexican artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo were both well-recognized artists in their time, but Rivera predicted that his wife's reputation would be far greater than his in generations to come. Though art historians surmise that Rivera and Kahlo were very much in love, they both engaged in extramarital affairs, which ultimately contributed to their divorce in 1940. A year later, the couple reunited.
The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife, Coretta Scott King, pose with their daughter Yolanda at home in Montgomery, Ala., in 1956. King was a champion of the civil rights movement, and his wife, a trained singer, supported his activism.
Anne Boleyn caught King Henry VIII's attention when she was a lady-in-waiting to his queen, Catherine of Aragon. Anne became Henry's second wife, and the scandal of his divorce from Catherine shocked the court. In 1536, Henry had Anne beheaded on the charge of adultery, though many scholars assert he was just getting rid of her so he could pursue Jane Seymour.
Frank Lloyd Wright and his wife Olgivanna pose at Taliesin East in 1937. Thirty years his junior, Olgivanna was Wright's third wife. She was a dancer from Montenegro, and she bore the architect (who was as famous for his designs as he was for his affairs) a daughter named Iovanna.
Joanne Woodward became Paul Newman's second wife in 1958. The two award-winning actors had one of the most enduring relationships in Hollywood. As fellow actor Warren Beatty described their lasting union, "They were just sensible, nice, intelligent people." As for his own rationale on marriage, Newman once quipped, "Why fool around with hamburger when you have steak at home?"
In this painting, Cleopatra emerges from a rolled-up carpet to present herself to Julius Caesar. Caesar became Cleopatra's co-conspirator to help her regain the Egyptian throne after Ptolemy took possession of it. The couple had a son named Caesarion and lived in Rome until Caesar's assassination. When Cleopatra returned to Egypt, the second great love story of her life began with Mark Antony.
President John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy reigned over so-called Camelot during his term. The facetious name nodded at the golden years of the nation, during which anything seemed possible with the youthful, handsome president at the helm and his young family by his side.
The couple that steals together stays together, at least in the case of Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker, who are best remembered as the dangerous duo Bonnie and Clyde. Wanted on charges of murder, kidnapping, robbery and auto theft, the couple was gunned down in Louisiana on May 23, 1934.
Even renowned chemists will leave the lab behind for a romantic honeymoon. Pierre and Marie Curie met at the Sorbonne in Paris, and they achieved fame in the science world for their studies of radioactivity, which later earned them a Nobel Prize. When Pierre was killed in 1906, Marie was appointed to his position at the Sorbonne, where he had been a professor of physics.
On July 29, 1981, Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer were married in front of 3,500 wedding guests and an international television audience of 750 million, which, according to the BBC, makes the wedding the "most popular program ever broadcast." The couple bore an heir to the throne less than a year after the wedding, and though they formally separated in 1996, their image as a couple endures due to their vast celebrity and humanitarian efforts. Prince Diana died in 1997 in a tragic car crash.
Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir met in 1929 when they were philosophy students. They shared an open relationship for much of their adult lives, acting as lovers and editors for each other's greatest works. These included Sartre's existentialist novels and plays and de Beauvoir's feminist treatises, most notably "The Second Sex." As Sartre described the relationship, "What we have is an essential love but it is a good idea for us also to experience contingent love affairs." In her later years, de Beauvoir commented that her relationship with Sartre was her "greatest achievement."
As far as power couples go, perhaps no duo had greater command over the public than Argentinian President Juan Peron and First Lady Eva Peron. Their signature wave was a welcome sight to the descomisados, or "shirtless ones," working-class Argentinians to whom the Peron administration promised higher wages and better housing. Beloved by the public, the first lady was dubbed and memorialized as "Evita."
In a rare moment of repose, Adolf Hitler naps while his long-time mistress, Eva Braun, looks on. Hitler and Braun married the day before committing suicide together, just prior to the collapse of the Third Reich.
The German Prince Consort Albert and Queen Victoria gave birth to nine children and the concept of Victorianism, a term that biographer Gillian Gill says connotes ideals of "faith, thrift, discipline . marital fidelity, parental control social cohesion." The couple drastically altered public ideas about British royalty by cleaning up the scandalous image of the court and replacing it with a homespun one of a couple very much in love, nurturing a large and closely knit family.
Despite the romantic accounts of Pocahontas saving John Smith's life (which historians believe are probably not true), the real love of her life was the English colonist John Rolfe. Their marriage in 1614 forged a diplomatic peace between the foreign settlers and the indigenous people of the Virginia colony. This historical painting shows Pocahontas' baptism, after which she became known as Rebecca. Though Pocahontas died just three years after marrying Rolfe, during their union, they had a son and worked in tandem to garner interest and financial support for the American colonies.
Franklin Delano and Eleanor Roosevelt resided in the White House during some of the most financially tumultuous years in U.S. history. Though Eleanor was his distant cousin, Roosevelt was determined to make her his wife. When she discovered that Roosevelt was having an affair with her social secretary, Lucy Mercer, Eleanor proposed divorce. Roosevelt declined, and though the two remained together, this event caused an awakening in Eleanor's personal life, inspiring her to become more involved in politics and to seek more meaningful friendships.
Johnny and June Carter Cash met in 1961 when she began touring with him. Carter Cash came from a family of country singers, and she dabbled in singing, songwriting and acting. The couple married in 1968 after Cash proposed to her onstage at a concert in London, Ontario. Their marriage of 31 years was a collaboration of love and talent, and between them, they earned several Grammy Awards. Carter Cash notably helped her husband overcome an addiction to amphetamines, and when she passed away in 2003, Cash died just four months later.
Rock star David Bowie and Somalian supermodel Iman were married in 1992, and despite the constant glare of the paparazzi's flashbulbs, the couple has enjoyed a lasting marriage. While Iman is known as a pioneer among black models in the fashion industry and recognized for designing the first line of cosmetics for women of color, Bowie was renowned for his rock 'n' roll legacy, which includes contributions to the glitter rock genre as well as a Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award and countless hit singles. Bowie died in 2016.
Best known for the "The Great Gatsby," Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald married his love and muse Zelda Sayre after the publication of his first novel, "This Side of Paradise." The couple welcomed their daughter Frances "Scottie" Fitzgerald in 1921. Towards the end of the decade, Zelda suffered from mental illness, which caused her to frequent mental health clinics and hospitals until she died. Fitzgerald's masterpiece "The Great Gatsby" didn't become renowned until the middle of the century, after he died.
Oprah Winfrey met Stedman Graham in the mid-1980s, and they've been together ever since. The couple was engaged in 1992, but they never married. In September 2017, Winfrey told Vogue that both she and Stedman are traditional, and that if they'd gotten married, then their relationship wouldn't have worked. The pair have been historically tight-lipped about their relationship.
In 1989, Barack Obama met Michelle Robinson at the law firm Sidley Austin LLP where they both worked, and three years later they got married. By the time he was elected to the Senate in 2004, the couple had two children, Malia and Sasha. The family's life would later change when Barack became the first black president of the United States. Obama left office after completing two terms in 2016, with very high approval ratings. On Oct. 3, 2017, the couple celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary.
George Lucas, the famed "Star Wars" director, met his future wife Mellody Hobson, president of Ariel Investments, at a business conference. They married in late 2013 and have a daughter together.
Grace Kelly was a famous American actress of the 1950s. She won an Academy Award for her role in "The Country Girl." In 1955, Kelly met Prince Rainier III of Monaco at a photoshoot and married him in 1956. The royal couple had three children together, including a son, Prince Albert, which prevented Monaco from being annexed into France. Princess Grace was killed in a tragic car accident on Sept. 13, 1982.
Albert Einstein met his first wife, Milena Maric, while attending school in Zurich. Despite his parents objections to the relationship, Einstein and Maric married on Jan. 6, 1903, but their marriage would not be a happy one. Einstein had an affair with his cousin while he was married to Maric. In their divorce settlement, Einstein agreed to give Maric any prize money in the event that he won the Nobel Prize.
Famous Mythical Couples
Lancelot and Guinevere
Lancelot and Guinevere is one of the famous couple of the Arthurian legend. Sir Lancelot was a knight in King Arthur’s Round Table, who fell in love with Queen Guinevere, Arthur’s wife. Their secret affair is revealed leading to unfortunate events like death penalties for the two, division of the Knights, and weakening of Arthur’s kingdom. Sir Lancelot saves Guinevere from death. Both spend their last days in seclusion, he as a hermit, and she as a nun.
Layla and Majnun
The story of Layla (also Laila) and Majnun (also Majnu) is a popular tragic Persian love story from the poem of Nizami Ganjavi, an Persian poet. The story is told in many versions. In one of the most popular version, Majnun falls in love with Layla at the first sight, but, they cannot get married as Layla’s parents do not approve of the match. Majnun cannot bear this and spends the rest of his life singing poems for his beloved, and is pronounced a mad man.
Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet, the most famous star-crossed lovers in the world, are fictitious characters in William Shakespeare’s tragedy by the same name. These two belong to two feuding families, fall in love with each other, and meet with tragic and untimely end. The story of Romeo and Juliet symbolizes unconditional love, sacrifice, and tragedy.
Salim and Anarkali
This is one of the most popular couples in the Indian history. There is a great debate on the verity of the love story between Prince Salim (later Emperor Jahangir) and a beautiful courtesan Anarkali. Emperor Akbar (Prince Salim’s father), enraged by the love between the Prince and the commoner, orders death sentence to Anarkali, and she is entombed alive.
Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler
This is a fictitious couple from the novel Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. Scarlett O’Hara is a beautiful, strong-willed Southern belle, who is crazily in love with a married man, Ashley Wilkes. Rhett Butler is an infamous, courageous blockade runner. They have similar temperaments, and are different from people of their society. Rhett is enamored by Scarlett from the day he sees her, but, Scarlett does not realize her love of him until the end.
❤ Adam and Eve
❤ Acme and Septimus
❤ Apollo and Daphne
❤ Elizabeth Bennett and Fitzwilliam Darcy
❤ Granida and Daifilo
❤ Heathcliff and Catherine
❤ Hero and Leander
❤ Jane Eyre and Rochester
❤ Orpheus and Eurydice
❤ Odysseus and Penelope
❤ Othello and Desdemona
❤ Paris and Helen
❤ Paolo and Francesca
❤ Pyramus and Thisbe
❤ Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl
❤ Rama and Sita
❤ Shakuntala and Dushyant
❤ Tristan and Isolde
❤ Vertumnus and Pomona
These love stories have even inspired popular literature in the world. There have been many other couples known for their undying, selfless, and unconditional love for each other. In case you know any famous couples or love stories, please mention in the comments section given below.
“Of course we get asked questions from friends and family all the time and sometimes we have to defend our relationship against stupid stereotypes, but race was never a thing between us. Race isn’t something anyone should think about, actually, we are all humans.” – Henrietta
Facts About Marriage In Ancient Egypt
- Ancient Egyptian society saw marriage as the preferred state
- Many marriages were arranged to secure personal advancement and communal stability
- Romantic love, however, remained an important concept for many couples. Romantic love was a frequent theme for poets, particularly in the New Kingdom period (c. 1570-1069 BCE)
- Marriage was monogamous, except for the royal family who was allowed multiple wives
- The only legal documentation required was a marriage contract.
- Prior to the 26th Dynasty (c.664 to 332 BC) women usually had little or no say in their choice of husbands. The bride’s parents and the groom or his parents decided on the match
- Incest was prohibited except for royalty
- Husbands and wives could not be more closely related than cousins
- Boys were married around 15 to 20 while girls found themselves married as young as 12 years of age, hence, marriage between older men and young girls was rife
- Early dowries from the husband to his wife’s parents were approximately equivalent to the price of a slave.
- If a husband divorced his wife, she was automatically entitled to about one-third of his money for spousal support.
- Despite most marriages being arranged, grave inscriptions, painting, and statues show happy couples.
Marriage And Romantic Love
Numerous ancient Egyptian tomb paintings show affectionate couples, pointing to an appreciation of the concept if romantic love amongst ancient Egyptians. Images of couples touching intimately and caressing their spouse affectionately, smiling happily and offering each other gifts are widespread in tomb art. The Pharaoh Tutankhamun’s tomb is replete with romantic images of he and Queen Ankhesenamun his wife sharing romantic moments.
While the most powerful social drives governing the selection of a life partner appear to have been status, lineage, personal habits and integrity, many couples appear to have sought out romantic love as the basis for their relationships. Husbands and wives actively looked to ensure their spouses were happy as the ancient Egyptians believed their union would extend far beyond the tomb into the afterlife and no ancient Egyptians desired to be locked in an unhappy marriage for all eternity.
Greater emphasis appears to have been placed on the happiness of a woman than that of her male counterpart. A man’s social obligation in marriage was to provide for his wife and to please her, ensuring her happiness. For her part, a wife was expected to manage their shared household ensuring it was clean and tidy and to oversee the smooth running of the home. A wife was also expected to ensure she was well groomed and clean and looked after the children instructing them in good manners. Above all else, a wife was expected to be content. For her husband, this arrangement meant that even if he didn’t passionately love his wife, a husband could be content. These reciprocal bonds allowed the couple to lead lives of balance and harmony in accordance with the overarching ancient Egyptian religious concept of ma’at in preparation for the afterlife.
Surviving poems have come down to us exulting in a heavily idealized version of romantic love. These poems include posthumous odes from a mourning husband to his departed wife. However, romance didn’t always survive beyond the grave. These poetic works also feature desperate entreaties from bereft widowers beseeching their deceased wives to cease tormenting them from the afterlife.
As ancient Egyptian culture accorded wives equal status to that of their husbands, a successful marriage hinged on selecting a congenial and compatible wife as a partner. While the husband was considered to be the masters of their household to be obeyed by both their wives and children, the women of the household were in no way considered to be subservient to their husbands.
Men were abjured from micromanaging their domestic households. The domestic arrangements were the domain of the wife. Assuming she was capably executing her role as a wife she could expect to be left to manage their household.
Chastity prior to marriage was not viewed as being an important pre-requisite for marriage. In fact, ancient Egyptian contains no word for “virgin.” The ancient Egyptians saw sexuality as nothing more than an everyday part of normal life. Unmarried adults were free to engage in affairs and illegitimacy carried no stigma for children. These social norms assisted the ancient Egyptians in ensuring life partners were compatible on multiple levels helping to reduce the instances of divorce.
Ancient Egyptian Marriage Contracts
Unless they were very poor, for ancient Egyptians a marriage typically was accompanied by a contract essentially similar to our current prenuptial agreements. This contract outlined the bride price, which was the amount payable by the family of the groom to the family of the bride in exchange for the honour of marrying the bride. It also laid out the compensation due to the wife should her husband subsequently divorce her.
The marriage contract similarly specified the goods the bride brought to their marriage and which items the bride could take with her should she and her husband divorce. Custody of any children was always awarded to the mother. The children accompanied the mother in the event of a divorce, irrespective of who initiated the divorce. Surviving examples of ancient Egyptian marriage contracts veered towards ensuring the ex-wife was looked after and was not left impoverished and impecunious.
The bride’s father usually drafted the marriage contract. It was formally signed with witnesses present. This marriage contract was binding and was often the sole document needed to establish the legality of a marriage in ancient Egypt.
Gender Roles In Egyptian Marriage
While men and women were largely equal under the law in ancient Egypt, there were gender-specific expectations. It was the obligation of the man in ancient Egyptian society to provide for his wife. When a man married, he was expected to bring to the marriage an established household. There was a strong social convention that men delayed marriage until they had sufficient means to support a household. Extended families rarely cohabited under the same roof. Establishing his own household showed a man was able to provide for a wife and any children that may they had.
The wife usually brought domestic items to the marriage depending on her family’s wealth and status.
An Absence Of Ceremony
The ancient Egyptians valued the concept of marriage. Tomb paintings frequently show couples together. Moreover, archaeologists frequently found pair statues depicting the couple in tombs.
Despite these social conventions, which supported matrimony, the ancient Egyptians did not adopt a formal marriage ceremony as part of their legal process.
After the parents of a couple agreed on a union or the couples themselves decided to marry, they signed a marriage contract then the bride simply moved her belongings into her husband’s home. Once the bride had moved in, the couple were considered married.
Ancient Egypt And Divorce
Divorcing a partner in ancient Egypt was equally as straightforward as the marriage process itself. No complex legal processes were involved. The terms outlining the agreement in the event a marriage was dissolved were clearly detailed in the marriage contract, which surviving sources suggest were largely honoured.
During Egypt’s New Kingdom and Late Period, these marriage contracts evolved and became increasingly complex as divorce seems to have become increasingly codified and Egypt’s central authorities became more involved in divorce proceedings.
Many Egyptian marriage contracts stipulated that a divorced wife was entitled to spousal support until she remarried. Except where a woman inherited wealth, was typically responsible for his wife’s spousal support, regardless of whether children were part of the marriage or not. The wife also retained the dowry paid by the groom or the family of the groom prior to the wedding proceeding.
Ancient Egyptians And Infidelity
Stories and warnings about unfaithful wives are popular topics in ancient Egyptian literature. Tale of Two Brothers, known also as The Fate of an Unfaithful Wife was one of the most popular tales. It tells the story of the brothers Bata and Anpu and Anpu’s wife. The older brother, Anpu lived with his younger brother Bata and his wife. According to the story, one day, when Bata returned from working in the fields looking for more seed to sow, his brother’s wife tries to seduce him. Bata rejected her, promising not to tell anyone about what happened. He then went back to the fields. When Anpu returned home later his wife claimed Bata had attempted to rape her. These lies turn Anpu against Bata.
The story of the unfaithful woman emerged as a popular storyline due to the rich variation in potential outcomes infidelity could trigger. In the story of Anpu and Bata, their relationship between the two brothers is destroyed and the wife is ultimately killed. However, before her death, she causes problems in the brothers’ lives and within the broader community. The Egyptians’ strong stated belief in the ideal of harmony and balance on a social level would have generated significant interest in this storyline amongst ancient audiences.
One of ancient Egypt’s most enduringly popular myths was that of the gods Osiris and Isis and Osiris’ murder at the hand of his brother Set. The story’s most widely copied version sees Set deciding to murder Osiris after his wife Nephthys’ decision to disguise herself as Isis in order to seduce Osiris. The chaos set in motion by Osiris’ murder set in the context of an unfaithful wife’s action apparently had a powerful impact on ancient audiences. Osiris is seen as blameless in the story as he believed he was sleeping with his wife. As is common in similar morality tales, the blame is laid firmly at the feet of Nephthys the “other woman.”
This view of the danger that could be caused by a wife’s infidelity partially explains Egyptian society’s strong response to instances of infidelity. Social convention placed significant pressure on the wife to be faithful to their husbands. In some instances where the wife wasn’t faithful and it was proven, the wife could be executed, either by being burned at the stake or by stoning. In many instances, the fate of the wife was not in the hands of her husband. A court could overrule a husband wishes and order the wife to be executed.
Marriage In The Afterlife
Ancient Egyptians believed marriages were eternal and extended into the afterlife. The life expectancy for most men was their thirties while women frequently as young as sixteen died in childbirth or otherwise only lived slightly longer than their husbands.
Thus ancient Egyptians emphasised the importance of choosing a congenial partner in life and death. The idea of one day being reunited with one’s partner in the afterlife was believed to be a source of comfort, easing the pain and grief of their passing. The idea of eternal matrimonial bonds spurred couples to do their best to ensure their life on earth was pleasurable, in order to ensure a similar existence in the afterlife.
Tomb inscriptions and paintings show the married couple revelling in each other’s company in the Elysian Field of Reeds indulging in the same activities they engaged in when they were alive. Hence the ancient Egyptian ideal was of a happy, successful marriage that endured for all eternity.
A core aspect of ancient Egyptian religious belief was the concept that following their death, Osiris would judge the purity of their souls. In order to reach the eternal paradise that was the Egyptian Field of Reeds in the afterlife, however, the deceased had to pass a trial by Osiris just Judge of the Dead and the Egyptian Lord of the Underworld in the Hall of Truth. During this trial, the deceased’s heart would be weighed against the feather of truth. If their lives were judged worthy, they embarked on a perilous journey to the Field of Reeds. Here their earthly lives would continue accompanied by all their loved ones and earthly possessions. However, should their heart be judged unworthy, it was thrown to the floor and devoured by “the gobbler” a ravenous beast known as Amenti, a god with a crocodile’s face, leopard front quarters and the back of a rhinoceros.
Consequently, if the deceased spouse had neglected to lead a life of balance and harmony to honour ma’at, then a reunion with their partner may not occur and the deceased could suffer the damning consequences. Numerous inscriptions, poems and documents survive showing a surviving spouse believed their departed partner was wreaking revenge on them from the afterlife.
Reflecting On The Past
The ancient Egyptians loved life and hoped to continue their enjoyable earthly delights in the afterlife. Marriage was one aspect of their daily lives ancient Egyptians expected to enjoy for all eternally providing one lived a virtuous life during one’s time on earth.
Egyptian Couple - History
Hieroglyph of Niankhkhnum (standing, left) and Khnumhotep (right, with his right arm on Niankhkhnum’s shoulder)
In the middle of the 5th dynasty of Egypt, the tomb of two men who would become one of the most famous same-sex couples in ancient history was built. The tomb of Khnumhotep and Niankhkhnum was uncovered in 1964 and has been a fierce debate topic ever since. They have been said to be twins, lovers, brothers, and close friends. These two men and their relationship with each other became most controversial long after their deaths.
It is known based on hieroglyphs that Khnumhotep and Niankhkhnum were chief manicurists of the king and the palace. Being of equal rank, there is little to no possibility of one being buried with the other to serve in the afterlife. It is also clear that both men had wives and children their wives are regularly found in the background rather than the foreground. One depiction that had Khnumhotep’s wife removed during construction. It is often Khnumhotep and Niankhkhnum next to each other, holding hands, sitting together, standing nose to nose, or embracing in a way that was most often used to depict a married couple.
Generally, Khnumhotep is put in place the wife would usually occupy. There are symbols used for him traditionally saved for women. There is gender-ambiguous terminology used to describe both men. While there does not seem enough evidence to suggest Khnumhotep may have identified with womanhood himself, it is not uncommon for same-sex couples to be expected to conform to the roles of heterosexual relationships.
It is also relevant to note that the names we have for them are not their given names, but how people referred to them their names together roughly translate out to “joined in life, joined in death.”
Interpretation of these facts is the subject of much debate amongst historians. While there is a group that believes the two men were lovers, there are far more who believe the two men were brothers. However, it was rare for brothers to be buried together. Rarer still is the emphasis of sibling love above wife and children. Some have suggested the men are twins to explain how often the men are shown in vaguely mirrored positions. The possibility of the two being conjoined twins has been brought up to explain away their many intimate portraits. One issue with this theory is that they are not joined in one spot through every portrait but switch between portraits.
Despite the rather apparent issues with this theory, their tomb is often called “The Tomb of Two Brothers.” Many historians still fight tooth and nail against the implication that these two men were not related but in a romantic relationship.
If a man and woman shared the tomb, the conclusion of a romantic relationship would have been reached immediately. No one would have suggested fraternal conjoined twins, loving siblings, or friendly colleagues.
The truth does not require a leap of logic but a small, sensible step forward.
The facts require no twists or wild assumptions to be understood.
Most historians who interpret them as brothers struggle with the idea that there could have been a gay couple who lived with little evidence of the same homophobia that plagued Europe when the tomb was uncovered. All indicates that these two were respected. If they were in a relationship, then it was one that people chose to immortalize through the tomb. To do so would require multiple people to honour the men and the love they shared.
This goes directly against the assumption that evidence of homophobia within ancient Egypt meant universal discrimination against queer people. Greg Reeder has addressed this concern writing:
“Space here does not permit a detailed survey on the subject of homosexuality in Ancient Egypt. Sufice it to say that the few references there are, appear to refer to a certain antipathy towards the specific sexual act of anal intercourse rather than male to male intimacy and affection in this phallocentric society. The ideal Egyptian family consisting of father, mother, and children was central to society and official discourse. But sometimes we see glimpses of other relationships existing in spite of official attitudes. Cherpion (1995) suggests that during the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Dynasties there was much experimentation in the ways that affection could be represented between husband and wife on official monuments. It was during this window of opportunity that two men, manicurists to the king, were able to construct their own monument.”
References and Further Reading
Disclaimer: some of the sources may contain triggering material
McCoy, J. (1998, July 20). Evidence of gay relationships exists as early as 2400 B.C. The Dallas Morning News. http://www.egyptology.com/Niankhkhnum_Khnumhotep/dallas.html
Reeder, G. (2000a). Same-sex desire, conjugal constructs, and the tomb of Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep. World Archaeology, 32(2), 193–208.
7 of the most memorable couples in history
History is full of extraordinary couples. Some are remembered for their long-lasting romances, while others are defined by their tragic downfalls. But who were the most iconic? From Antony and Cleopatra to John and Jackie Kennedy, we examine seven of the most remarkable relationships from the past – as voted for by HistoryExtra readers
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Published: September 12, 2020 at 4:05 am
Explore seven of the most memorable couples in history, as voted for by HistoryExtra readers…
Antony and Cleopatra
Arguably the most famous lovers in history, the story of Marcus Antonius and Cleopatra VII has been retold for more than 2,000 years. Popularised by Shakespeare, the lovers were later portrayed in the 1963 film Cleopatra by Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.
Antony and Cleopatra’s affair took place amid a power struggle in the Roman republic. In 41 BC Antony, who was in dispute with Julius Caesar’s adopted son, Octavian, over the succession to the Roman leadership following Caesar’s assassination, began both a political and romantic alliance with Cleopatra, the queen of Egypt. Cleopatra bore Antony three children – two sons and a daughter.
In 31 BC Antony and Cleopatra joined their armies to tackle Octavian’s forces in a great sea battle at Actium, Greece. Beaten by Octavian, the couple fled to Egypt. Octavian pursued them, and the following year captured the Egyptian capital, Alexandria.
With his soldiers deserting him, Mark Antony took his own life. He was followed by Cleopatra, who committed suicide on 12 August 30 BC.
Churchill and Clementine
The course of love ran considerably smoother for the next couple in our list.
Meeting briefly at a ball in 1904, Winston Churchill was “transfixed and tongue-tied Clementine [Hozier] unimpressed”, according to the official website of the wartime prime minister. The pair did not meet again for another four years.
In August 1908, just four months after meeting for the second time, Churchill invited Clementine to his birthplace, Blenheim Palace, and as they took shelter from a rainstorm in an ornamental Greek temple during an afternoon walk, he proposed. The pair married on 12 September.
The announcement devastated Violet Asquith, to whom Churchill later admitted he was “practically engaged to” before proposing to Clementine.
According to WinstonChurchill.org: “Churchill could be very charming but he also was known to be quite difficult at times. He had such a presence and reputation that there were very few men who would stand up to him. There was however one very strong willed woman who always would – his wife.
“They wrote to one another whenever apart, and sometimes communicated important feelings by letter even when under the same roof.
“Theirs was a great romance but, as importantly, Clementine would dispense wise advice on all of the matters of the day. He relied heavily on her for her unwavering support and for her always-sage advice.”
Churchill famously told Clementine: “I do not love and never will love any woman in the world but you.”
Victoria and Albert
Queen Victoria married her German first cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, at St James’s Palace on 10 February 1840. It was the first wedding of a reigning queen in England since 1554.
Over 17 years, nine children were born: four boys and five girls. But historian Jane Ridley explains that while to the outside world their family seemed the embodiment of domestic bliss, the reality was quite different.
Writing for History Extra, Ridley says: “Behind the closed doors of the private apartments, Victoria was often irritable and moody. She bitterly resented what she called ‘the shadow side of marriage’, meaning pregnancy and childbirth, and she suffered from postnatal depression. She disliked babies, who she thought were ‘mere little plants for the first six months’ and ‘frightful when undressed’ with their ‘big body and little limbs and that terrible frog-like action’.”
Albert “began his quest for power immediately after the marriage,” says Ridley. “This was not a marriage of equals. It was as if the only way the couple could live with the anomaly (as they saw it) of Victoria being a woman on the throne and superior in rank to her husband was by making her feel that she was Albert’s inferior in every other respect. This artifice imposed unbearable stresses upon them both.”
Nevertheless, it is said that Victoria never fully recovered from Albert’s death in 1861, and she remained in mourning for the rest of her life. She withdrew from public life shortly after his passing, and did not return until the late 1870s and 1880s.
In 2014 Julia Baird announced that, while working on a biography of Queen Victoria, she had found evidence of a later affair between the queen and her servant. In an unpublished diary extract of the monarch’s trusted doctor, Sir James Reid, held by Reid’s descendants, the doctor recalls how on Thursday 22 March 1883 he opened the door to Victoria’s room to find her flirting with John Brown as she “walked a little”. Brown says to her, lifting his kilt: “Oh, I thought it was here?” She responds, lifting up her dress: “No, it is here.”
Writing for the New York Times, Baird says it is unclear from the note exactly what “it” might be, but that the diary entry reveals an extraordinary level of intimacy that exceeded not just what was normal for a lady and her servant — let alone a queen — but also for male and female friends.
Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn
No list of famous couples would be complete without mention of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn: two of history’s most captivating figures whose romance-turned-tragedy is known the world over.
When Anne first joined the English court in 1522 (as lady-in-waiting to Henry’s wife, Catherine of Aragon), the king had in his sights another Boleyn girl – Anne’s elder sister, Mary. It wasn’t until four years later that his attention turned to Anne, but, as Tudor historian Dr Suzannah Lipscomb explains, Henry “wouldn’t have been bowled over by her good looks. The surprising thing about Anne is that she wasn’t considered to be a great beauty.” It was her “character, intelligence and charm” and her “cosmopolitan glamour” that drew the king to her.
In January 1533, with Anne pregnant (with the future Elizabeth I), she and Henry were married in a secret ceremony and Henry broke with the Catholic church. Anne was crowned queen of England in a lavish ceremony at Westminster Abbey in June.
Historian Elizabeth Norton explains: “Within months of their wedding Henry was unfaithful, informing Anne that ‘she must shut her eyes, and endure as well as more worthy persons, and that she ought to know that it was in his power to humble her again in a moment more than he had exalted her’.
“When Anne miscarried a son shortly after Catherine of Aragon’s death in January 1536, Henry declared ominously that ‘he would have no more boys by her’. He had already fallen in love with Jane Seymour, and was soon looking to end his marriage.
“On 30 April 1536, under torture, a musician named Mark Smeaton confessed to a sexual relationship with Anne. Two days later the queen was arrested for adultery and incest, and taken to the Tower of London. Anne, her brother, Smeaton and three other men were convicted on trumped-up charges, with the men executed on 17 May. That same day, the royal marriage was annulled.
“On 19 May 1536, Anne Boleyn walked to a scaffold on Tower Green. After making a short speech, she knelt as a French swordsman – sent for as a small act of mercy by the king – stepped up behind her and severed her head with one blow.”
Napoleon and Josephine
They met at a dinner party in Paris in October 1795: Josephine de Beauharnais a 32-year-old widow, and Napoleon Bonaparte a short, marginalised Corsican soldier six years her junior. Yet they went on to become a power couple. As historian Kate Williams explains: “Josephine, the fabulous hostess and skilled diplomat, was the perfect consort to the ambitious but obnoxious Napoleon. With her by his side, he became the greatest man in Europe, the Supreme Emperor and she amassed a jewellery box with more diamonds than Marie Antoinette’s.”
But while Napoleon famously wrote Josephine passionate love letters during their partings, their relationship was marred by affairs – reportedly on both sides – and “as his fame grew, Napoleon became increasingly obsessed with his need for an heir and irritated with Josephine’s extravagant spending”.
In 1810 Napoleon had his childless marriage to Josephine annulled and married Marie Louise, the daughter of the Austrian emperor. A son, Napoleon (who became known as Napoleon II), was born a year later.
John and Jackie Kennedy
With their good looks, charisma and charm, JFK and his wife, Jackie, brought glamour to American politics in the 1950s and 60s. To the outside world their relationship looked nothing short of perfect. But in reality the president had numerous affairs including, most famously, with Marilyn Monroe.
Kennedy biographer Robert Dallek describes JFK as a “compulsive womaniser” who had an insatiable urge for sexual conquests. In 2014, the authors of a new book about Jackie claimed the couple were heading for divorce when the president was shot dead in November 1963.
In Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis: A life Beyond Her Wildest Dreams, Darwin Porter and Danforth Prince from Blue Moon Productions said the first lady, fed up with her husband’s philandering, told her confidantes that she wanted out. Her anger had intensified after Marilyn Monroe’s ‘Happy Birthday Mr President’ performance on 19 May 1962.
Richard III and Anne Neville
Richard III, the last Plantagenet king, is probably one of the world’s best-known monarchs following the discovery of his skeleton underneath a Leicester car park in 2012. But what of his wife, Anne Neville?
Anne was made a widow at just 15 after her husband, Edward of Westminster, the only son of Henry VI, was killed at the battle of Tewkesbury in May 1471 – a clash that saw the Yorkists reign victorious over the Lancastrians. The following year, Anne married Richard of Gloucester, the future Richard III.
Expert Philippa Gregory says: “Some people like to think that Richard of Gloucester [who was around five years older] added to his many apocryphal crimes by kidnapping the young widow and forcing her to marry him. Some like to think that their childhood friendship blossomed into love.
“I think it most likely that Anne judged rightly that nobody could protect her from the greed and jealousy of the House of York but a brother of the House of York, and wisely and bravely ran away from her sister’s house to marry Richard. [Her sister Isabel was married to Richard’s brother, George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence, who opposed the marriage – most likely because he didn’t want to divide his wife’s inheritance with his brother. Clarence and Isabel therefore ‘scooped up the girl (Anne) and took her into their keeping. It was probably a form of house arrest’]”.
Anne was crowned alongside her husband on 6 July 1483. Two years later, on 16 March 1485, just 28 years of age and heartbroken after the death of her only child (a boy), Anne died, perhaps from TB. Richard was killed just five months later, on 22 August, at the battle of Bosworth.
Professor Michael Hicks offered a fascinating insight into the pair’s relationship when, writing for History Extra, he said: “While we might argue that Richard wanted to be buried at Westminster with his queen, there is some evidence that he tried to replace her before she died.”
Emma Mason is Digital Editor at HistoryExtra
This article was first published by History Extra in 2015 and has since been updated
10 Great Love Affairs in History
It's what makes women wear torturous undergarments and feign interest in preposterous sporting rituals. It's also what makes men hold dainty purses outside of fitting rooms and suffer through hosts of terrible movies. What could be this powerful? Why, love, of course. We've combed through Cupid's handiwork and selected some romantic pairings powerful enough to influence culture, trigger wars, and spawn international scandals.
1. Antony and Cleopatra
Cleopatra always had a high profile love life. The queen of Egypt, she was the mistress of Julius Caesar, king of Rome, until his assassination in 44 B.C.E. After Caesar's death, Mark Antony began sharing an uneasy alliance with Gaius Octavian (Caesar's grandnephew) and army general Marcus Lepidus as triumviral rulers of the Roman Empire. Looking to gain a powerful political ally, Antony invited Cleopatra to Tarsus (in what is now Turkey) in 41 B.C.E. for a meeting that would become legendary. Although she was rather plain looking, Cleopatra had a captivating presence and was known for her intelligence, wit and, at times, ruthless ambition. Antony was charmed instantly and followed Cleopatra back to Egypt. Back in Rome, Octavian was understandably angry, because Antony had previously wed his sister, Octavia, to strengthen his position. He began to view Cleopatra as a greedy temptress who had turned Antony into a helpless puppet. Octavian declared war on the two lovers, which culminated in the Battle of Actium in western Greece in 31 B.C.E. There, Octavian's naval fleet defeated the joint forces of Antony and Cleopatra, and the pair fled back to Egypt. Octavian, still pursuing sole control over the Roman Empire, invaded Egypt and forced Cleopatra and Antony to surrender.
During the final struggle against Octavian in Egypt, Antony received a false report that Cleopatra had committed suicide. Antony, overcome with grief, thrust a sword into his abdomen. His men carried him to where Cleopatra was hiding, and he died in her arms. Soon after, Cleopatra was taken prisoner. Legend has it she smuggled a poisonous snake into her cell and placed it upon her chest where it delivered a fatal strike. Cleopatra was buried next to her beloved, where they lay together for eternity.
2. Catherine the Great and Grigory Potemkin
Catherine the Great and her lover, Grigory Potemkin, definitely take the cake for the best "how we met" story. In 1761 Catherine was the wife of Russian Czar Peter III. But after only one year in power, Peter was overthrown (likely with Catherine's help) and killed (she may have given those orders, too) by the Imperial Guard forces in a coup d'Ã©tat. It just so happened that, right about the time Peter was meeting his grim fate, Russian soldier Grigory Potemkin was on guard duty ensuring Catherine's safety. Catherine, who would become empress only days later, took a liking to Potemkin, despite the fact that he was obese, vain and missing an eye. But Catherine wasn't exactly known for being picky about her lovers she had many, but she undoubtedly showed the longest fidelity to Potemkin. By 1771, Catherine had made him an official Russian statesman, a count and the commander of her armies. Although their love affair ended in 1776, Potemkin remained the love of her life. When he died at age 52, Catherine went into a depression from which she never fully recovered.
3. Napoleon and Josephine
Napoleon Bonaparte, a ruthless and ambitious soldier in the French military, was captivated the moment he saw Josephine, a charming and beautiful Paris socialite. Napoleon doggedly pursued the widowed, 32-year-old mother of two, but wasn't immediately successful. Despite being a military genius, he was unkempt and rather homely looking. Josephine eventually had a change of heart, and the two were married in 1796. Shortly after their wedding, Napoleon embarked on a series of military campaigns, while Josephine embarked on her own series of adulterous affairs. When Napoleon received word of this, he became enraged and demanded a divorce. But Josephine begged for his forgiveness, and he relented.
As Napoleon continued to rise in power and wealth, being crowned emperor of France in 1804, he became focused on having a son to carry on his royal lineage. But he eventually came to the conclusion that Josephine was unable to conceive, and the couple divorced in 1809. Less than a year later he married 18-year-old Marie Louise of Austria and had a son. But without Josephine it seemed his destiny was cursed. After devastating military losses he was exiled to the island of Elba on May 4, 1814. Josephine, still heartbroken, wrote a letter to Napoleon and asked permission to join him. He wrote back that it was impossible, but Josephine died on May 29 before his letter arrived. In 1815, Napoleon escaped from Elba and returned to Paris. The first person he visited was the doctor who treated Josephine. When Napoleon beseeched the physician as to why his beloved Josephine had died, the doctor replied that he believed she had succumbed to a broken heart. He then retrieved violets from her garden and wore them in a locket until his death in 1821.
4. Czar Nicholas II and Alexandra Federovna
Young Nicholas II, the future Czar of Russia, fell for the ravishing German princess Alexandra of Hess as soon as he saw her. The pair became inseparable and, to the dismay of the royal family, often engaged in public displays of affection. Nicholas and Alex (as he called her) became engaged in 1893. The following year Nicholas' father died, and, only days later, the young couple was married in a ceremony diminished by the Russian leader's recent death. Nonetheless, Czar Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra had a happy and passionate marriage. But while they were enjoying lavish royal parties and yacht outings, their countrymen toiled in poverty. During WWI the Russian people suffered greatly, and by 1917 support for the royal family was all but gone. Russians stormed the streets of St. Petersburg (then known as Petrograd) in protest and toppled the monarchy. Nicholas and his family were arrested and sent to Siberia. On July 16 of the next year the entire family was executed by the new Bolshevik government, ending the 300-year-old Romanov dynasty.
5. Charles Augustus Lindbergh, Jr. and Anne Spencer Morrow
An American aviator, Charles became famous in 1927 when he made the first solo, nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean. While on a goodwill trip to Latin America later that year he met and began seeing Morrow, the shy, self-conscious daughter of the U.S. ambassador to Mexico. Their courtship gained international attention, and when the two married in 1929, they became one of America's first celebrity couples. Anne soon began flying the friendly skies—she was the first licensed female glider pilot in the country—and took to the air with her husband. Together they made history by charting potential air routes for commercial airlines, and they even set a Los Angeles-to-New York air speed record in 1930 when Anne was seven months pregnant. With her beloved husband's encouragement she wrote memoirs of their life together and became one of the country's most popular and famous diarists with 13 published books to her credit. But their storybook romance hit a few rough spots, including a few short-lived affairs, and the tragic and infamous kidnapping and murder of their infant first son in 1932.
6. Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas
It was love at first sight when Gertrude Stein, 33, met Alice Babette Toklas, 29, in Paris in 1907. Like many great lovers, they met by accident. Stein's parents had gone to Oakland, Calif., to check on property damaged during the 1906 Bay Area earthquake, where they met Toklas and enthralled her with their stories of Paris. Toklas moved there two years later, met up with Gertrude, and the two women soon began living together. Besides being a well-known avant-garde writer, Stein was a brilliant eccentric with a heavy, unladylike presence. Alice B. Toklas, who worked as Stein's secretary and cook, was a chain smoker with a slight mustache, given to exotic dress. The pair became inseparable. Their apartment at now-famous 27 Rue de Fleurus became the foremost meeting place for artists and writers like Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald.
7. (Prince) Edward and Wallis Simpson
Edward, the handsome Prince of Wales and heir to the British throne, changed the course of his life, as well as that of British history, when he fell in love with Wallis Warfield Simpson—a woman who was not only American, but also married. Edward met Simpson at a party in 1931, hosted by Lady Thelma Furness, a viscountess with whom Edward had conducted a long relationship. Edward was not instantly smitten, but he and the upwardly-mobile Mrs. Simpson traveled in the same social circles, and after many society balls and dinner parties he was slowly captivated by her charm and poise. By 1934, Wallis was separated from her husband, and British Parliament grew increasingly nervous over the relationship. Then, in 1936, Edward's father died, and he was forced to take his position as king. But his brief stay on the throne only created a media frenzy due to his relationship with Simpson. Miserable, Edward abdicated the throne in a famous radio broadcast in which he told the world that he "found it impossible to carry the heavy burden" of being king without the support of "the woman he loved." Edward's younger brother, Albert, became King George VI, and, since the title Prince of Wales can only be held by the eldest son of the sovereign, Edward was made the Duke of Windsor. King George made sure that his brother kept the courtesy title of His Royal Highness, but he also pointedly decreed that should he marry Wallis, she (and any children they produced) would be denied royal status. After Simpson's divorce in 1937, Edward and Wallis were married in a small ceremony and spent most of the rest of their lives in France.
8. Waties Waring and Elizabeth Avery Waring
The story of Julius Waties Waring and Elizabeth Avery Waring is not just a great romance, it is a great romance that altered the course of America's civil rights movement. Growing up in Charleston, S.C., Waties Waring was the personification of Old South patrician. In 1941, at the age of 61, he was appointed a federal judge and became a popular member of the Charleston elite. Yet, Waring was already showing signs of dissent: He ended segregated seating in his courtroom and appointed John Fleming, a black man, as his bailiff. But eyebrows were raised even higher when Waring divorced his Southern-born wife of 32 years and married Elizabeth Avery, a twice-divorced native of Detroit. Waties and his new bride found themselves shunned by Charleston society aside from being a "Yankee," Elizabeth was disliked because she was seen as inspiring her husband to look at issues of race in an even more aggressive light. Indeed, by the late 1940s, Waties had undergone an astonishing conversion that turned him into an outspoken critic of segregation and champion for racial justice. In fact, it was due to Waring's key legal influence and court ruling that the segregationists' "separate but equal" doctrine was declared unconstitutional, laying the groundwork for the historic 1954 Brown v. Board of Education school desegregation decision.
9. Harry Tyson Moore and Harriette Simms Moore
Harry and Harriette Moore are a relatively unknown yet pioneering couple that helped pave the way for the civil rights movement of the 1960s. The two met in 1925 while Harry, 20, was teaching elementary school in Cocoa, Fla., and Harriette, 23, formerly a teacher herself, was selling insurance. The two quickly fell in love and were married within a year. Both strong-willed and compassionate people, the Moores raised a family (they had two daughters) while organizing the first Brevard County Chapter of the NAACP in 1934, championing such causes as equal pay for black teachers. With the support of legendary African-American attorney Thurgood Marshall, the Moore couple became key allies in the movement. By 1941, Harry was the president of the Florida chapter of the NAACP, and his new level of activism took him into the dangerous arena of lynchings and police brutality. At first, Harry's involvement was confined to letters to government officials, but he quickly began launching his own investigations. Many believed this is what precipitated the attack in 1951 on Christmas Day—also the Moores' 25th anniversary—when a bomb exploded in their bedroom. Harry died before he reached the hospital Harriette passed away nine days later from her injuries. Though authorities believe that the Ku Klux Klan was involved, the murders have never been solved.
10. Juan Domingo PerÃ³n and Maria Eva Duarte (Evita)
Move over Bill and Hillary, this was the ultimate power couple. Evita PerÃ³n, born Maria Eva Duarte, began carving out a perfectly respectable rags-to-riches story when she left her poor family and small town of Los Toldos, Argentina, in 1935 to pursue acting in Buenos Aries. She appeared in vaudeville stage acts and found some success as a radio actress, but her life changed when she met and charmed Juan Domingo PerÃ³n, the future president of Argentina, in 1944. After only a year the two were married, and in 1946 PerÃ³n was elected president of Argentina. Together the couple helped reform labor and social welfare programs. In addition, Evita established a women's branch of the Peronista political party, as well as foundations for needy children and the elderly. Indeed, she was one of the most active first ladies the world has ever known, made formal in 1951 when she was asked to join her husband's election ticket as vice president. The PerÃ³ns' political opponents blocked her candidacy, fearing that she could one day become president, but Evita was not bitter. When her husband was inaugurated for the second time in 1952, Evita appeared by his side. But the occasion was bittersweet she was suffering from cervical cancer and died shortly thereafter. Her husband's inauguration was her last public appearance.
If a small kid sees an image and it helps him grow his imagination or it stays with him for an emotional reason, for us this is preserving the material that we have – Marc Mouarkech
One photograph captures a moustachioed man posing with a keffiyeh wrapped around his head, wearing a camouflage jacket and holding a Kalashnikov. Recently, a man visiting the foundation’s office was surprised the see the photograph hanging on a wall. He said the man was his grandfather, who worked for the state electricity company. Although he wasn’t part of a militia, when he went to get his portrait taken he chose to pose in costume. “It was a way to show him being a macho man in front of the camera,” says Mouarkech. “These photos were taken in the studio and it was a representation of a certain masculinity.”
Zarif, 1971, by Hashem El Madani (Credit: From Akram Zaatari's project Objects of Study, Studio Shehrazade. Hashem El Madani collection, courtesy of the Arab Image Foundation)
The foundation’s online archive is intended to broaden perspectives of the Middle East. Mouarkech sees providing public access to the collections as part of his duty to preserve them. “The archive is a tool that needs to be used,” he says. “Preservation comes in so many different ways. If a small kid sees an image and it helps him grow his imagination or it stays with him for an emotional reason, for us this is preserving the material that we have, the history that we hold, the memory of the object and the memory of the region.”
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